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Art, Tech & Social Good Come Together in New Mercy Ships Campaign


Geometry Global Canada teams with Ogilvy & Mather, Neo@Ogilvy, OgilvyOne and photographer Matt Barnes

Art, Tech & Social Good Come Together in New Mercy Ships Campaign

On May 26, a team of marketing communications agencies, led by Geometry Global, in collaboration with Canadian photographer/director Matt Barnes, launches the first ever agency-lead Canadian awareness and fundraising campaign for Mercy Ships Canada. This new campaign depicting life on the Africa Mercy hospital ship is intended to draw Canadians in, inspire a connection to the cause and enable donations.

“Mercy Ships Canadian office is based in Vancouver and the work the organization does is incredible – yet most Canadians are totally unaware,” says Nuala Byles, Executive Creative Director, Geometry Global, Toronto. “Our goal is to bring Mercy Ships into the Canadian consciousness. To do this we needed to reach a new audience. Our research shows that millennials will get involved with a cause if they are inspired by a sense of community and the chance to drive real, positive change, and stats show that 57 per cent report a desire to directly see the impact of their donation. These facts drove our approach in terms of who we wanted to collaborate with and how the campaign would come to life. Matt Barnes, a celebrated pop-culture photographer/director with blue-chip clients and a big millennial fan base, made perfect sense for this campaign.”

‘MERCY’, a gallery exhibit and fundraising event, depicts life on a hospital ship

Every picture tells a story. In Africa, where nearly 50 percent of people have no access to a hospital or doctor, there are hundreds of stories of once-vibrant children, women and men plagued by poverty and preventable diseases, untreated illnesses and neglected injuries. These are stories of a simple toothache or scratch becoming a life-threatening crisis, and stories of the Mercy Ships medical professionals that come to the aid of the affected people. These are the stories that Barnes captured while visiting the Africa Mercy hospital ship in Madagascar to bring this campaign to life with gripping honesty and beauty.

Art with a mission offers two ways to donate

‘MERCY’ by Matt Barnes, presented at Struck Contemporary Art Gallery May 26 – June 5 features twenty-five powerful images as part of Toronto’s Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. The original collection will be sold at the gallery and limited edition prints will be sold through an eBay auction. 100 per cent of all proceeds will be donated to Mercy Ships.  

SHAZAM an image, donate a medical treatment

SHAZAM’s visual recognition capability will allow attendees to scan an image with their mobile device and make an instant donation for a specific treatment or medical supply. For example, if the focal point of the photograph is a child’s eyes, gallery attendees can instantly donate life-changing eye surgery to a child in need through

Barnes’ photographs are also being used in an advertising campaign to drive further awareness. Geometry Global created familiar hospital scenes with unexpected nautical cues to establish what makes Mercy Ships so unique – a hospital operating on board a ship. To amplify this pro bono campaign, Geometry Global Toronto and WPP partners Ogilvy & Mather, Neo@Ogilvy and OgilvyOne and PR firm NEAT Marketing Communications created a media plan, a social campaign, and a series of print ads and 15-second spots. All ads and content were filmed and photographed by Barnes while visiting the Africa Mercy Hospital Ship on its mission in Madagascar.

“It was important for our team to maintain authenticity throughout this entire campaign, therefore all the people featured in our creative were patients and volunteer doctors and nurses,” says Barnes. “In fact, just one week prior to our shoot, Claudio, a 14-year old Malagasy boy featured in our ‘IV’ ads, had undergone surgery to remove an invasive 7.5lb life- threatening tumor from the back of his head. And one week later he stood proudly as the hero in our campaign.”


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Genres: Scenic, Dialogue

Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Military

VMLY&R COMMERCE Worldwide, Fri, 27 May 2016 09:16:48 GMT